» Excellent Schools ePrize

Margaret Grogan with philanthropists Pamela and Andrew Horowitz

Attallah College of Educational Studies Dean Margaret Grogan with Philanthropists Pamela and Andrew Horowitz 

Purpose
To foster collaboration between Orange County (OC) district and charter schools around innovations in order to improve educational outcomes for the underserved in OC.

Challenges
Although once one of the nation’s most powerful high‐end economies, OC’s sustainable growth is unclear. According to Joel Kotkin, RC Hobbs Presidential Fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, OC has a chance to emerge as a “Pro‐Tech” hub in the coming decade. With the highest combined technology and arts concentration of any major region, the possibilities for OC’s future prosperity are great. However, with its low housing affordability, there is a need for high‐wage employment growth. There is a concerted effort underway by the OC business community to address some of these problems. At the core of these efforts is the recognition that OC needs excellent schools. The California (CA) Department of Education data for the 2015-2016 school year shows that only 51.1% of OC high school students graduated with the necessary A through G requirements to attend a UC or a CSU. While this number is above the CA state average of 45%, it does not bode well for high‐wage employment preparation. We need an all out effort by local business, academia, government and our communities focused on excellent schools for all of Orange County. All parties need to collaborate and that will take leadership and new ways of thinking.

Collaborative projects and programs
1‐3 years

Funding
up to $100,000* per year over three years
*The first two years of funding has already been raised by Attallah College's funding partner, Excellent Schools OC (eSOC), through a $200,000 commitment from the Pamela and Andrew Horowitz Family.